What’s in my bag? (Medical Student Edition)

What’s in my bag? (Medical Student Edition)

Hi all! In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the essential items I keep in my bag as a medical student (especially third year rotations).

1. Stethoscope

I love my Rose Gold MDF instruments stethoscope and my Littmann Classic III! While the MDF instruments offers better colors and designs, I think the sound quality of the Littmann is slightly better. They are both great, inexpensive stethoscope that many medical students use!

2. Coffee mug

I’m always running out the door with my morning coffee.

3. Laptop and charger

I use a 13′ Mac Book Pro, which I think is the perfect laptop for medical school! I always carry my laptop in case I get a few extra minutes to study or work on research during my rotations. Also, don’t forget your charger!

4. Books

I usually carry a book to read when we have some downtime. To find a list of the resources I recommend for each clerkship, click here! There are also a few good reference guides that you can keep in your bag or white coat. A good one for all rotations is a little pocket guide called Maxwell Reference Guide. For internal medicine, the Pocket Medicine Guide is extremely helpful! I’ve linked them below!

5. Planner

I would be lost without this thing!

6. Fleece Jacket

I’m that person who is always cold. I love using my school-issued Patagonia Fleece. North Face also makes really great fleeces.

7. Water bottle

This is an essential item. I prefer ones that are insulated. Here are some nice, affordable ones!

8. Small notebook

I use my notebook to jot down a patient’s history, to-do lists, questions I have, and things I’ve learned throughout the day.

9. Pens and highlighters

A necessity. My favorite pens are by Muji and any highlighter will do for me! Pro-tip: keep some cheap/throwaway pens on you. Your resident and/or attending may ask for a pen (and will run off with it). I lost one of my favorite pens from this. It was tragic.

10. Personal items- Wallet, keys, lip balm, lotion, etc.

Lip balm is a must-have. I’ve been using Kiehl’s‘ and have been loving it. Here are some other great ones: Burt’s Bees and Eos, I usually keep hand lotion with me too since the use of hand sanitizer dries out my hands. Here are two of my favorites. AHAVA is seriously the besttt!!

11. Penlight

Any penlight works. You can also use the flashlight on your phone, but it may look a little unprofesh. I invested in a more expensive one because I’m pursuing a field that uses one on nearly all patients. I’ve also linked some more affordable ones.

12. Snacks

My favorites are RxBars, Kind, and Omega bars! Find one with high protein to keep you full longer.

Lastly, the bag I use the Large Le Pliage Shoulder Tote by Longchamp!

Here’s another great, affordable option!

That’s a wrap! Let me know in the comments below if there are any items you like to keep in your bag that I missed!



  1. Anita
    06/17/2020 / 5:13 pm

    great article!!! thank you for making this!

    • Lily
      06/17/2020 / 8:17 pm

      Yay glad you liked it! Thanks for the idea!! (:


  2. 08/04/2020 / 11:38 pm

    What’s the brand of your bag or from where?

  3. Sharif
    10/26/2020 / 9:52 pm

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  4. Dr D.J
    12/18/2021 / 8:41 am

    Why didn’t you bought an ipad?

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